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How to Backup iPhone with Finder in macOS Catalina

If you have regularly synced your iPhone or iPad on a Mac computer, you should know that the new macOS Catalina will prove confusing for most iOS users. This is because iTunes will no longer be available on your Mac once you update to Catalina 10.15. Instead users need rely on Finder to back up and restore their iPhone/iPad.

If you are wondering how that can be possible, you are not alone. To answer numerous questions on this issue from our users, we've finally decided to address the process of backing up and restoring an iPhone with Finder in macOS Catalina. Also, we'd like to show an alternative way to backup & restore iPhne without using Finder.

Part 1. How to Backup iPhone in macOS Catalina

To back up your iPhone on Mac running macOS Catalina 10.15, follow these simple steps:

  • Begin by connecting your iPhone or iPad to the Mac computer using USB cable.
  • Now open Finder. You can do that using Command + N on your keyboard.
  • In the left column of the Finder window, you should see "Locations" section. Look for your device under this section and click on it.
  • You should see information about the device on the right. Click on "General" and then look for the "Backups" section. You should see two options: Backup your important data to iCloud or Backup all of the data on your iPhone to this Mac.
  • Choose the second option to back up the device on your computer and then click "Back Up Now" to begin the backup process.

backup iphone with finder

Note: If you are plugging your iPhone or iPad to the Mac computer for the first time, you will be asked to pair the two device. Click on "Pair" in Finder and tap "Trust This Computer" on your device.

pair iphone with mac

Part 2. How to Restore iPhone in macOS Catalina

If you would like to restore the backup back on to your iPhone, follow these simple steps:

  • Connect your device to the computer and then open Finder (Command + N).
  • Look for the device in the Locations section and click on it.
  • When information about the device appears on the right, click on "General" and then look for the "Backups" section.
  • Click on "Restore Backup" and select the backup you want to restore in the popup window.
  • Enter your password and then click "Restore" to begin the process.

restore iphone with finder

Part 3. How to Manage iPhone Backups in macOS Catalina

When you backup your iPhone or iPad on the Mac using the process described above, the old backups are not removed. Actually, the process creates a new backup file every time. Although this may come in handy when you need to restore the device from a different point, multiple backups can take up large space on your Mac. Follow these simple steps if you would like to delete some of them:

  • Using a USB cable to connect your iPhone or iPad to the computer and open Finder.
  • Click on the device under locations and then tap "General" in the right hand side of the window.
  • In the "Backups" section, locate the "Manage Backups" option and click on it.
  • A list of the backups on the Mac will appear. Each one will be labeled with the date and name of device. Select the one you would like to delete and click "Delete Backup".

manage backup in finder

Part 4. Backup & Restore iPhone without Finder in macOS Catalina

If you would rather not use Finder to back up and restore the device or you would like an easier and more secure way to do the task, here we recommend using FoneGeek iOS Data Backup & Restore. This tool makes it very easy for iOS device users to backup and restore the data on their devices in a single click. Some of the program's features include the following:

  • It can back up iPhone or iPad to Windows PC or Mac computer in a single click.
  • It allows you to preview the contents in the backup and thereby only restore data you need from backup to the device.
  • It supports backup and restore contacts, text messages, notes, photos, videos, WhatsApp, Viber, voice memos, and more data on iPhone/iPad
  • It also provides the option to selectively restore data from backups created with iTunes or iCloud.
  • It is very simple to use even for beginners, no technical knowledge is required.
  • It supports all iOS devices and all versions of the iOS firmware, including iPhone 14/13/12 etc. running on iOS 16/15.


Here's how to backup iPhone or iPad without Finder on macOS Catalina:

Step 1: Download and install the iPhone Backup & Restore tool on to your computer, then launch it and connect your iPhone to the computer. From the options in the home interface, select "Backup & Restore" to begin.

backup restore

Step 2: Now select the types of file you wish to backup and then click "Backup" to begin the backup process.


Step 3: Ensure your device is connected to the computer until the backup is complete. Once completed, you can choose to view backup data.

backup completed

Here's how to restore data from backup to iOS device without Finder:

Step 1: In the program's main window, select "Backup and Restore". Connect your device to the computer and then choose "To view or restore previous backup files" from the lower left corner.


Step 2: If you want to restore the backups created using this tool in the past, select the backup file and click on "View" to proceed.

preview backup

Step 3: Simply select the files you would like to restore and then click "Restore to Device". In a few seconds all the selected data will be restored back on to the device.

restore backup to pc


There is officially a new way to backup and restore your iPhone on Mac and as you can see from the steps above, the process is quite easy. But a third-party tool like FoneGeek iOS Data Backup & Restore will do things no other backup and restore solution can do; it will allow you to selectively restore data back on to the device. Try it today and share your thoughts on it or any other iOS data issue with us in the comments section below and we'll do our best to find solutions.

Joan J. Mims

Joan J. Mims is interested in researching all tips about iPhone, iPad and Android. He loves to share useful ideas with all users.

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